Are Pecans Good for Diabetics?
We’ve heard it over and over again that nuts are a healthy snack and provide great nutritional benefits. Eating a handful of pecans every day can have a significant impact on our heart health. In fact, eating about 1.5 ounces each day can reduce your risk for developing a cardiovascular disease and type 2 diabetes. But what about those with diabetes? Are they just as suitable for people with diabetes, or are they something to stay away from?
What Do Pecans Do for Our Health?
Adults with elevated blood glucose levels and insulin resistance are at-risk for cardiometabolic disease. For disease prevention and management, physical activity and dietary modifications are recommended. Overweight and obesity weight status combined with insulin resistance will inevitably increase the body’s demand for insulin and production of pancreatic beta cells.
Studies have shown that eating a serving (~1.5oz) of pecans a day can improve serum insulin, insulin resistance, and beta cell function in at-risk adults. The introduction of pecans into the diet can also improve blood lipid levels, reducing that pesky LDL cholesterol (or as you might often hear it, the “bad” cholesterol) and promoting healthier arteries.
How Can Pecans Help Diabetics?
Since nuts are low on the glycemic index, pecans can slow the body’s absorption of carbohydrates down, which ultimately leads to lower blood glucose (sugar) levels; just ensure you’re using unsalted, dry-roasted pecans and not candied pecans that can be high in sugar and added fat. Added bonus, pecans have heart-healthy qualities that can impact your overall health status for the better!
Being cholesterol- and sodium-free, rich in vitamins and minerals, a great source of fiber, and full of phytochemicals that are high in antioxidant properties, these powerhouse nuts are a great option as a snack, salad garnish, or recipe booster to enhance flavor. They help to add texture, and help keep blood sugar levels in check. And remember that although these nuts are high in nutritional value, they are also a calorie-dense food, so eat in moderation and enjoy the delicious, nutritious benefits!
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